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The Soaring Beauty of the World's Tallest Waterfalls

10. Browne Falls

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

Despite its name, Doubtful Sound is actually a New Zealand fjord. The deep cuts carved through the landscape created a dramatic lake tucked into the upper reaches of the mountains. When the lake level rises high enough, it overflows down the mountainside, completing a total of 6 drops. There aren't any roads to Doubtful Sound, though. Visitors wanting to see the falls will need to hire a boat or a helicopter.

9. James Bruce Falls

British Columbia, Canada

The tallest waterfall on the North American continent comes in at number nine overall. The falls are located in Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park, an inland park in British Columbia just north of Vancouver. As its name suggests, this marine park isn't accessible by roads. While the fall's height is impressive, the volume of water is a trickle compared to the more visited Chatterbox Falls nearby.

8. Pu'uka'oku Falls

Molokai, Hawai'i

Molokai can boast two waterfalls on the list with Pu'uka'oku and its neighbor Olo'upena. The world's eighth tallest is the more dramatic of the two, cutting a deep path into a steep v-shaped ravine on the mountainside. Like many of the waterfalls on this list, it's only visible from helicopter tours while traveling along the Hawaiian island's vertical coastline.

7. Balåifossen

Osafjord, Norway

Osafjord is one of Norway's most beautiful regions, and the icing on the cake is this supertall waterfall. Balåifossen cuts down the steep fjord walls in three distinct drops, even changing direction at one point. The one caveat, however, is that the falls are created from melting snow. This means that for summer visitors, the waterfall can be difficult to see or completely dry.

6. Vinnufossen

Sunndal, Norway

Balåifossen's northern neighbor is just 33 feet taller, yet this allows Vinnufossen to claim the title of Europe's highest waterfall. Like other fjord waterfalls, snowmelt causes the thin streams down the mountain face. Vinnufossen is particularly noted for its forking that resemble branches or veins. Depending on snowmelt and rain, the volume of water can vary dramatically.

5. Yumbilla Falls

Cuispes District, Peru

Deep in the Peruvian jungle, Yumbilla Falls only came to international attention in 2007. A trip to the Cuispes District is a waterfall seeker's paradise with 21 other falls to see in the region. The trek to the base of the falls isn't for the faint of heart, however. The tiring path takes about three and a half hours, and the walk back is mostly uphill. The lack of tourists, though, will make it worth the journey for those seeking authentic Peruvian experiences.

4. Olo'upena Falls

Molokai, Hawai'i

Olo'upena is only around the bend from Pu'uka'oku, Hawaii's other supertall falls. The drama of this waterfall, however, is its location on the tallest sea cliff in the world. Tourists hoping to view the thin stream better pray for a recent heavy rain, otherwise the short-lived cascade will have dried up. It's a good thing you'll have another opportunity to see a top ten waterfall on the same helicopter tour.

3. Three Sisters Falls

Junín Region, Peru

Three Sisters falls (pun intended) just short of the 3,000-foot club. It might not have the volume of something as powerful as Niagra Falls, but this dramatic waterfall pours off a circular cliffside, falling deep into the tree-lined canyon. The dense jungle, a protected national forest, makes traveling to the area on foot (or by vehicle) difficult.

2. Tugela Falls

Drakensberg, South Africa

Africa's tallest waterfall could argue that it is the tallest in the world depending on how it is measured. For our purposes, though, it comes in at number two on our list. Located in Royal Natal National Park in the southeastern part of South Africa, hikers can easily access the top of the falls to look down at the five distinct drops.

1. Angel Falls

Auyán-tepui, Venezuela

One of only two waterfalls over 3,000 feet tall, Angel Falls may look familiar to you as it served as inspiration for Paradise Falls in the movie Up. It consists of only two falls, with most of its height coming from the main dramatic drop off the side of an immense Venezuelan mesa. What makes this waterfall particularly photogenic are the frequent low-hanging clouds.